Vin Scully is set to begin his 64th season announcing Dodgers games and the greatest broadcaster in baseball history shared a lot of great stuff during an interview with Lyle Spencer of MLB.com.
My favorite part, which Jon Weisman of the must-read Dodger Thoughts alerted me to, is that on the night the Dodgers won Game 7 of the World Series in 1955 a then 28-year-old Scully’s postgame plans involved going out on a date:
I had a date, and I left the group to get my car and go pick her up. We drove over to Brooklyn for the party at the Bossert Hotel. It was like V-J Day and V-E Day rolled into one when we came out of the tunnel. There were thousands of people on the sidewalks leading to the hotel. There were policemen, and parking attendants who took your car about a block from the hotel. Walking down that street to the hotel, that was an unforgettable scene.
Her name was Joan Ganz. She was from Arizona. I’m pretty sure she later became the creator of “Sesame Street.” You can check on that. We liked each other and stayed in touch, but it never got serious. I haven’t told this story, but what the heck. That was a long time ago.
First of all, as you’d expect Scully’s memory is spot on. Joan Ganz (who later became Joan Ganz Cooney) created “Sesame Street.” She also was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. Oh, and she won a Presidential Medal of Freedom too. She’s probably one of the most influential people in television history.
Imagine how many incredible stories Vin Scully has that makes “I once dated the woman who created ‘Sesame Street’ after calling Game 7 of the 1955 World Series” not even worth telling for 58 years.
“I haven’t told this story, but what the heck.”
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina is still open to extension talks during the last week of spring training. Once Opening Day rolls around, however, Molina has preemptively nixed any contract negotiations until the end of the 2017 season, when he’s scheduled to hit free agency.
Molina wants to stay with the Cardinals, or so he’s telling reporters, but he’s also “not afraid” to test the free agent market this fall should a deal fail to materialize. Via Goold:
I would love to stay, but at the same time I’m not afraid to go to free agency. I’ve still got many years in the tank. Believe me. I feel great. I feel like a 20-year-old kid. I’m not afraid to go to free agency.
The 34-year-old backstop is entering his final year under contract, though Goold points out that he has a $15 million option for 2018 that he can choose to decline in the event that it’s exercised by the team. He’s reportedly searching for a figure closer to those made by other top catchers like Buster Posey and Russell Martin.
The 2017 season will mark Molina’s 14th year in the Cardinals’ organization, building on a career that has spanned seven All-Star campaigns, nine postseason runs and two World Series championships in St. Louis. He batted .307/.360/.427 with eight home runs and a .787 OPS for the club in 2016.
Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.
Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.
The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.